Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze

*This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Smithfield at Walmart*

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze

Are you still planning your holiday menus, like I am – at the last minute?  Then feel free to relax as you look no further!  These super simple, delicious meatballs are a sure thing no matter what your celebration looks like.

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze | Sweet Anna's

They are incredibly easy, packed full of flavor and can be made ahead so all you have to do is heat them up when it’s time to serve.  

They can be served up big as a main course with potatoes or rice on the side, or served up as is for a satisfying little appetizer on a buffet table.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze | Sweet Anna's

I think most of you would agree with me – a holiday smorgasbord table just wouldn’t be complete without meatballs.  Whether you like yours in a barbecue sauce, gravy, or a sweet glaze – meatballs are a crowd pleaser any way you serve them.

And especially when you make them a little surprising and a lot delicious.  Isn’t it fun to share something new, yet still comforting, on your holiday table?

These meatballs are gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy them, but feel free to use regular all-purpose flour if you’d prefer.

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze | Sweet Anna's

And in case you need a little more motivation, Smithfield All-Natural Pork products are affordable and something you can feel good about feeding your family…  and you can find them at your local WalMart while you’re buying all your stocking stuffers and last minute gifts!


Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze

Yield: makes about 2 dozen meatballs


    for the meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons 21-seasoning salute (no-salt-seasoning) or ground sage
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • for the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water


  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently mix the meatball ingredients together until just blended. Don’t over mix!
  3. Form the meatball mixture into small balls, about the size of a golfball or smaller, and place onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  5. If you are making these ahead, let them cool completely before transferring to freezer bags and storing in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
  6. When you are going to serve the meatballs, place them in a skillet with a lid, whisk together the apple butter & water and pour over the meatballs. Simmer until heated through, turning the meatballs once or twice to make sure they are well coated.
  7. You can also reheat these in the slow cooker if you would like an even more hands-off approach!

healthy, crockpot mexican-style chicken & quinoa

Creamy, flavorful, mexican-style chicken, quinoa & black beans…  made in the slow cooker.

How’s that for a perfect, easy & healthy winter meal?

Crockpot Mexican-Style Chicken & Quinoa with Black Beans | Sweet Anna's

If, like me and almost everyone else in the world, you are trying to eat a bit healthier this year…  you’ll want to give this easy crockpot meal a try.

Read More »

pasta with mushroom & rosemary meat sauce

It’s no secret that I love Fall.  Every single thing about it actually.

I love crisp, cool days with scarves, boots and jackets.  I love warm, cozy soups and stews.  I love candles and early darkness and alltheholidays.  I just love it.

In my world, pasta and Fall go hand in hand.  Especially, hearty, meaty, cozy pastas that fill your belly and warm you to the toes.

The kind you top with lots of yummy cheese and sop up with crusty, garlicky bread.  The kind you go to bed dreaming about and can’t wait to reheat for lunch the next day.

The kind that makes you love Fall too…  even if you don’t.

This is one of those pastas.

pasta with mushroom and rosemary meat sauce | Sweet Anna's

Rosemary and mushrooms are a perfect pairing.  The piney, woodsy rosemary and the hearty, flavorful mushrooms fill the senses with all sorts of good things.

And a little kick of heat in the background is never a bad thing!

We like this sauce over short noodles, like penne or rotini, but please use your favorite.

Just make sure you light a candle and pour yourself a little glass of wine to go with this dish.  Everything tastes better by candlelight.

And you know what?  You deserve it.

pasta with mushroom & rosemary meat sauce


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 large jar or can (24-28oz) crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


In a large saucepan or dutch oven, brown the meat, drain it and set aside.

In the same pan, in the little olive oil, sauté the onions and carrot over medium-high heat until soft and just barely golden, around 5-10 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms and sauté until they are starting to brown.

Stir in the garlic and rosemary and sauté for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic is very fragrant.

Stir in the meat, tomatoes, salt & pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes if using. Bring to a boil, taste for seasoning (adjust as necessary - more salt? more rosemary? more spice??), reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or as long as you have.

This is a great sauce to dump into the slow cooker for dinner. Or to freeze and reheat another day for an easy meal!

Serve over your favorite noodles with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top if you'd like and a bit more chopped fresh rosemary if you have it.